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them the tokens of former affluence and “These twenty names," says William respectability, such as family-plate, por- L. Stone, writing in 1866, " composed traits of their ancestors executed in a the aristocracy of New York two hunsuperior style, and great numbers of dred and nine years ago.
. We original paintings, some of which were have also before us the names of the much admired by acknowledged judges." "Small Citizenship,' which numbered In New York, of course, the highest two hundred and sixteen. In a few degree of refinement was to be seen, short years it was found that the diviand she says: “An expensive and ele- sion of the citizens into two classes gant style of living began already to produced great inconvenience, in consetake place in New York, which was, quence of the very small number of from the residence of the Governor and great burghers who were eligible to Commander-in-Chief, become the seat office. It now became necessary for the of a little court."
Government to change this unpopular Society, in that day, was very station- order. In the year 1668 the difference ary. About 1635 the first Dutch settlers between 'great' and 'small' burghers came out, and the country was much of was abolished, when every burgher it occupied by their large grants, many became legally entitled to all burgher of which had attached to them manori- privileges.” * al rights. They brought with them About fifty years after the arrival of some of the social distinction of the the early Dutch settlers, they were folold country. In the cities of Holland, lowed by the Huguenots, driven abroad for a long time, there had been “great” principally by the revocation of the and “small” burgher rights. In Am- Edict of Nantes, and including, in their sterdam the "great burghers " monopo- number, members of some of the best lized all the offices, and were also ex- families in France, Thus came the empt from attainder and confiscation Jays, De Lanceys, Rapaljes, De Peysters, of goods. The “small burghers” had Pintards, &c. In 1688 the English took the freedom of trade only. In 1657 this possession of the colony, and, from that
great burgher” right was introduced time, English settlers increased. The into New Amsterdam by Governor Stuy- colony became (as Paulding says) “ a vesant.
place in which to provide for younger In Paulding's “ Affairs and Men of sons." Still, this often brought out sciNew Amsterdam in the Time of Gov- ons of distinguished families and the ernor Peter Stuyvesant,” we find a list best blood in England. of the recorded GREAT CITIZENSHIP, in Thus matters stood until the Revoluthe year 1657. As a matter of the old- tion. The country was parcelled out en time, it is here given entire :
among great proprietors. We can trace
them from the city of “New AmsterJoh. La Montagnie Jun.
dam” to the northern part of the State. Jan Gillesen Van Burggh. Hendrick Kip.
In what is now the thickly-populated De Heer General Stuyvesant,
city were the lands of the Stuyvesants, Domanie Megapolensis.
originally the Bowerie of the old GorJacob Garritsen Strycker. Van Virge.
Next above was the grant to Wife of Cornelis Van Teinhoven.
the Kip family, called “Kip's Bay," Hendrick Van Dyck.
made in 1638. In the centre of the Isaac Kip. Hendrick Kip Jun.
island were the possessions of the De Capt. Martin Crigier.
Lanceys. Opposite, on Long Island, Carel Van Burggb.
was the grant to the Laurence family. Jacob Van Couwenhoven. Laurisen Cornelisen Van Wel.
We cross over Harlaem River and reach Johannes Pietersen Van Burggh.
“Morrissanea,” given to the Morris famiCornelis Steenwyck.
ly. Beyond this, on the East River, was Wilb. Bogardus. Daniel Litschoe. Pieter Van Couwenhoven,
* Stone's "History of New York City," p. 33.
“De Lancey's Farm," another grant to farmers, and, when the Revolution comthat powerful family; while on the menced, the people almost unanimously Hudson, to the west, was the lower Van espoused its cause. The aristocratic Courtlandt manor, and the Phillipse element, which in New York rallied manor. Above, at Peekskill, was the around the Crown, was here entirely upper manor of the Van Courtlandts.
wanting. The only exception to this, Then came the manor of Livingston, which we can remember, was the case then the Beekmans, then the manor of of the Gardiners, of Maine. Their wide Kipsburgh, purchased by the Kip family lands were confiscated for their loyalty ; from the Indians, in 1686, and made a but, on account of some informality, royal grant by Governor Dongan, two after the Revolution, they managed to years afterwards. Still higher up was recover their property, and are still seatthe Van Rensselaer manor, twenty-four ed at Gardiuer. miles by forty-eight; and, above that, At the South, where so much was said the possessions of the Schuylers. Fur- about their being “ the descendants of ther west, on the Mohawk, were the the Cavaliers,” there were no such feubroad lands of Sir William Johnson, dal relations. The planters had no tencreated a baronet for his services in the
antry; they had slaves. Their system, old French and Indian wars, who lived therefore, was similar to that of the in a rude magnificence at Johnson Hall. serfdom of Russia. With the colonial All this was sacrificed by his son, Sir families of New York it was the EngJohn, for the sake of loyalty, when he lish feudal system. took up arms for the king and was Hereditary landed property was, in driven into Canada. The title, how- that day, invested with the same dig. ever, is still held by his grandson, and nity in New York which it has now in stands recorded in the baronetage of Europe; and, for more than a century, England.
these families retained their possessions, The very names of places, in some and directed the infant colony. They cases, show their bistory. Such, for in- formed a coterie of their own, and, genestance, is that of Yonkers. The word ration after generation, married among Junker (pronounced Younker), in the themselves. Turn to the early records languages of northern Europe, means of New York, and you find all places the nobly-born — the gentleman. In of official dignity filled by a certain set West Chester, on the Hudson River, still of familiar names, many of which, sinco stands the old manor-house of the Phil- the Revolution, have entirely disaplipse family. The writer remembers, in peared. As we have remarked, they his early day, when visiting there, the occupied a position similar to that of large rooms and richly-ornamented ceil- the English country gentleman, with ings, with quaint old formal gardens his many tenants, and were everywhere about the house. When, before the looked up to with the same kind of reRevolution, Mr. Phillipse lived there, spect which is now accorded to them. “ lord of all he surveyed,” he was al- Their position was an acknowledged ways spoken of by his tenantry as the one, for social distinctions then were Yonker” —the gentleman-par excellence. marked and undisputed. They were In fact, he was the only person of that the persons who were placed in office in social rank in that part of the country. the Provincial Council and Legislature, In this way the town, which subsequent- and no one pretended to think it strange. ly grew up about the old manor-house, “They," says a writer on that day, took the name of Yonkers.
were the gentry of the country, to This was a state of things which ex- whom the country, without a rebellious isted in no other part of the continent. thought, took off its hat.” In New England there were scarcely In that age the very dress plainly any large landed proprietors. The marked the distinctions in society. No country was divided up among small one who saw a gentleman could mistako
his social position. Those people of a man tenants, having served out his time century ago now look down upon us of several years' duration, brought to from their portraits, in costumes which, his late owner a bag of gold which had in our day, we see nowhere but on the come with him from the old country, stage. Velvet coats with gold lace, and was sufficient to purchase a farm. large sleeves and ruffles at the hands, 'But,” said his master, in surprise, wigs and embroidered vests, with the “ how comes it, Hans, with all this accompanying rapier, are significant of money, that you did not pay your pasa class removed from the rush and bus- sage, instead of serving as a Redemptle of life—the “nati consumere fruges tioner so long ?” “Oh," said the cau-whose occupation was not-to toil. tious emigrant from the Rhine, “I did No one, in that day, below their degree, not know English, and I should have assumed their dress; nor was the lady been cheated. Now I know all about surpassed in costliness of attire by her the country, and I can set up for myself.” servant. In fact, at that time, there These tenants, however, looked up were gentlemen and ladies, and there with unbounded reverence to the landed were servants.
proprietor who owned them, and it took The manner in which these great much more than one generation to enlanded estates were arranged fostered a able them to shake off this feeling, or feudal feeling. They were granted by begin to think of a social equality. Government to the proprietors, on con- There was, in succeeding times, one dition that, in a certain number of curious result of this system in the conyears, they settled so many tenants upon
fusion of family names. These German them. These settlers were generally Redemptioners often had but one name. Germans of the lower class, who had For instance, a man named Paulus was been brought over free. Not being able settled as a tenant on an estate. As his to pay their passage-money, the captain children grew up, they needed sometook them without charge, and then thing to distinguish them. They were they were sold by him to the landed Paulus' Jan and Paulus' Hendrick. This proprietors for a certain number of naturally changed to Jan Paulus and years, in accordance with the size of the Hendrick Paulus, and thus Paulus befamily. The sum received remunerated came the family name. him for the passage-money. They were This was well enough. But they frecalled, in that day, Redemptioners ; and, quently took the name of their proprieby the time their term of service-some- tor. He was known as Morris' Paulus, times extending to seven years—had and this, in the next generation, natuexpired, they were acquainted with the rally changed to Paulus Morris, and his ways of the country and its manner of children assumed that as their family farming, had acquired some knowledge name. In this way there are many of the language, and were prepared to families in the State of New York bearset up for themselves. Thus both par. ing the names of the old landed proties were benefited. The landed pro- prietors, which have been thus derived. prietor fulfilled his contract with the Some years ago a literary gentleman, Government, and the Redemptioners who was compiling facts with regard to were trained for becoming independent. the early history of the State, came to settlers.
the writer, very much puzzled. “Who," From these Redemptioners many of said he, are these people ? I find the wealthy farming families, now liv- their names in Dutchess county, and ing in the Hudson River counties, are yet, looking at Holgate's pedigree of descended. In an early day they pur- that family, I see they cannot belong to chased lands which enriched their chil- it. Where did they come from, and dren. The writer's father once told him where do they belong ?” The above of an incident which occurred in his account was a satisfactory solution of grandfather's family. One of his Ger.
But to return to this system. It was ready mentioned that most of its incarried out to an extent of which, in habitants were small farmers, wringing this day, most persons are ignorant. On their subsistence from the earth by hard the Van Rensselaer manor there were, labor. Here were literally no servants, at one time, several thousand tenants, but a perfect social equality existed in and their gathering was like that of the the rural districts. Their “helps" were Scottish clans. When a member of the the sons and daughters of neighboring family died, they came down to Albany farmers, poorer than themselves, who to do honor at the funeral, and many for a time took these situations, but were the hogsheads of good ale which considered themselves as good as their were broached for them. They looked employers. The comparatively wcally up to the “Patroon” with a reverence men were in their cities. which was still lingering in the writer's No two races of men could be more early day, notwithstanding the inroads different than the New Yorkers of that of democracy. And, before the Revo- day and the people of New England, . lution, this feeling was shared by the There was a perfect contrast in all their whole country. When it was announced habits of social life and ways of thinkin New York, a century ago, that the ing. The Dutch disliked the Yankees, Patroon was coming down from Albany as they called them, most thoroughly. by land, the day he was expected to This feeling is shown, in a ludicrous reach the city crowds turned out to see way, through the whole of Irving's him enter in his coach-and-four.
“Knickerbocker." « The Dutch and The reference to the funerals at the the Yankees,” he says, never got toRensselaer manor house reminds us of a gether without fighting.” description of the burial of Philip Liv- There is a curious development of ingston, one of the proprietors of Liv- this prejudice in the following clause, ingston manor, in February, 1749, taken which was inserted in the will of a from a paper of that day. It will show member of a distinguished colonial something of the customs of the times. family of New York, dated 1760. “It The services were performed both at his is my desire that my son, town-house in New York, and at the may have the best education that is to manor. “In the city, the lower rooms be had in England or America ; but my of most of the houses in Broad-street, express will and directions are, that he where he resided, were thrown open to never be sent, for that purpose, to the receive visitors. A pipe of wine was Connecticut colonies, lest he should imspiced for the occasion, and to each of bibe, in his youth, that low craft and the eight bearers, with a pair of gloves, cunning so incidental to the people of mourning ring, scarf and handkerchief, that country, which is so interwoven in a monkey-spoon was given.” (This was their constitutions that all their acts so called from the figure of an ape or cannot disguise it from the world, monkey, which was carved in solido at though many of them, under the sanctithe extremity of the handle. It differ- fied garb of religion, have endeavored ed from a common spoon in having a to impose themselves on the world as circular and very shallow bowl.) “ At honest men." the manor these ceremonies were all re- Once in a year, generally, the gentry peated, another pipe of wine was spiced, of New York went to the city to transand, besides the same presents to the act their business and make their purbearers, a pair of black gloves and a chases. There they mingled, for a time, handkerchief were given to each of the in its gayeties, and were entertained at tenants. The whole expense was said the court of the Governor. These digto amount to £500."
nitaries were generally men of high Now, all this was a state of things families in England. One of them, for and a manner of social life totally un- instance-Lord Cornbury-was a bloodknown in New England. We have al- relative of the royal family. They cop
ied the customs and imitated the eti- founder, and regarded as their first quette enforced “at home," and the re- home on this continent. It was erected joicings and sorrowings, the thanks- in 1655, by Jacobus Kip, Secretary of givings and fasts, which were ordered the Council, who received a grant of at Whitehall, were repeated again on that part of the island. There is, in the banks of the Hudson. Some years the possession of the family, a picture ago the writer was looking over the of it as it appeared at the time of the records of the old Dutch Church in Revolution, when still surrounded by New York, when he found, carefully venerable oaks. It was a large double filed away, some of the proclamations house, with three windows on one side for these services. One of them, giving of the door and two on the other, with notice of a thanksgiving-day, in the one large wing. On the right hand of reign of William and Mary, for some the hall was the dining-room, running victory in the Low Countries, puts the from front to rear, with two windows celebration off a fortnight, to give time looking out over the bay, and two over for the news to reach Albany.
the country on the other side. This During the rest of the year these was the room which was afterwards inlandlords resided among their tenantry,
vested with interest from its connection on their estates; and about many of with Major André. In the rear of the their old country-houses were associa- house was a pear-tree, planted by the tions gathered, often coming down from ladies of the family in 1700, which bore the first settlement of the country, giv- fruit until its destruction in 1851. In ing them an interest which can never this house five generations of the family invest the new residences of those whom were born, later times elevated through wealth. Then came the Revolution, and SarSuch was the Van Courtlandt manor- gent, in his “Life of André,” thus gives house, with its wainscoted rooms and its history in those stirring times : its guest-chamber; the Rensselaer mau- “Where now, in New York, is the unor-house, where of old had been enter alluring and crowded neighborhood of tained Talleyrand and the exiled princes the Second avenue and Thirty-fifthfrom Europe; the Schuyler house, so near street, stood, in 1780, the ancient Borthe Saratoga battle-field, and marked erie or country-seat of Jacobus Kip. by memories of that glorious event in Built in 1655, of bricks brought from the life of its owner
- (alas, that it Holland, encompassed by pleasant trees, should have passed away from its found- and in casy view of the sparkling waters er's family !), and the residence of the of Kip's Bay, on the East River, the Livingstons, on the banks of the Hud- mansion remained, even to our own son, of which Louis Philippe expressed times, in possession of one of its foundsuch grateful recollection when, after er's line. Here” (continues Sargent, inhis elevation to the throne, he met, in corporating the humorous recollections Paris, the son of his former host. of Irving's “Knickerbocker") “spread
There was one more of these old the same smiling meadows, whose applaces of which we would write, to pre- pearance had so expanded the heart of serve some memories which are now Oloffe the Dreamer, in the fabulous ages fast fading away, because it was within of the colony; here still nodded the the bounds of our city, and was invest- groves that had echoed back the thuned with so many historical associations der of Henry Kip's musketoon, when connected with the Revolution. It is that mighty warrior left his name to the house at Kip's Bay. Though many the surrounding waves. When Wash years have passed since it was swept ington was in the neighborhood, Kip's away by the encroachments of the city, house had been his quarters; when yet it exists among the recollections of Howe crossed from Long Island on Sunthe writer's earliest days, when it was day, September 15th, 1776, he debarked still occupied by the family of its at the rocky point hard by, and his